£4.4m to be spent on flood defences in Hebden Bridge

The Government has promised to invest £4.4m in a scheme  designed to protect homes and businesses in Hebden Bridge from flooding.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 11:28 am
Updated Thursday, 29th July 2021, 12:33 pm

Environment Secretary George Eustice made the pledge as he launched the £5.2bn Flood and Coastal Erosion Investment Plan, which aims to improve protection for 336,000 properties in England over the next six years and avoid around £32bn of wider economic damage.

The Minister also announced that funding for Yorkshire and the Humber has been increased by £40m this year, because the region has suffered from repeated flooding in recent years, and it will be spent on various projects run by the Environment Agency and local authorities.

According to the plan, £4.4m will be invested in the Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme, which will raise and strengthen river walls to protect properties from the River Calder and Hebden Water, install a canal overflow weir and improve drainage and pumping stations.

A man wades through floodwaters as rivers burst their banks on December 26, 2015 in Hebden Bridge (Getty Images)

The measures aim to protect around 400 properties in Hebden Bridge, which was devastated by flooding when it was hit by Storm Eva in December 2015 and Storm Ciara in February 2020.

Hebden Bridge Flood Warden, Andrew Entwistle said: “Our role is both reactive and proactive in that we not only respond when there are flood warnings issued, but in between we prepare and organise in order to prevent loss of life and minimise the damage caused by flooding.

“In our proactive role we meet local folk who we know are at risk of flooding and advise on resilience measures in homes and businesses. Be prepared is our message.

“No amount of hard engineering will stop the inundation we suffered on Boxing Day 2015, however it will reduce the damage as the overtopping will be much later and stop sooner than before. It will be effective and reduce the stress of many residents and business owners.”

The Government also plans to launch a consultation in the autumn on a range of measures designed to better protect communities hit by frequent flooding.

There are plans to alter the flood insurance system, to allow flooded households to claim extra money to bolster their defences, and update the planning system to make it more difficult to build properties in areas where flooding is a concern.

Environment Agency Flood Risk Management Advisor, Christian Merriman said: “We are working with Calderdale Council to design and build a Flood Alleviation Scheme for Hebden Bridge.

“The scheme will reduce flood risk from the rivers, the canal and surface water, and will consist of; raising and strengthening river walls; improving protection to riverside properties; surface water drainage improvements and pumping; and a canal overflow. In some locations the scheme will use glass panels and raising barriers to minimise intrusion on river views.”

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